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Thursday, October 02, 2014



Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Absentee Ballots Available Beginning Friday

Westport Town Clerk Patricia Strauss announced today that beginning Friday absentee ballots for the state election to be held Nov. 4 will be available at the Town Clerk’s office Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. -  4:30 p.m.

Registered electors may qualify for the following reasons: active service in the armed forces of the United States; illness or physical disability; religious tenets, which forbid secular activity on the day of the election; duties as an election official at the polling place other than their own during all of the hours of voting; absence from the town during all of the hours of voting.

Application for a ballot can be requested in person at the Town Clerk’s office located in Room 105 at the Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave., or by calling (203)341-1110. 

The application form is also available online by downloading the form at

Posted 01:03 PM
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

In 2nd Debate, Malloy is Proud and Foley Incredulous

By Mark Pazniokas

West Hartford – In a televised debate tonight, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley met in a political Twilight Zone, each unable or unwilling to recognize the reality of the other’s Connecticut.

Malloy defied polls that show a dispirited and disapproving electorate. He claimed progress, pronouncing himself proud of resolving an inherited $3.67 billion deficit without gutting municipal aid. Foley all but suggested he was mad, seeking votes in a different dimension.

“Sometime, I wonder if he’s living in the same state,” Foley said, prompting titters. Later he said, “It’s simply not true what you’re telling people.”

But Foley joined Malloy in downplaying non-partisan projections of a significant deficit in the coming year, albeit one far smaller than what confronted the first-term Democratic governor after he defeated Foley in 2010. To do otherwise would require Foley to promise more than his proposed budget freeze.

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Posted 10:22 PM
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

GOP Tailgate Party Image
Westport Republicans today held a “tailgate party” at the 323 Restaurant on Main Street to meet gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley and others running in November. Pictured (l-r) are Weston-Westport Probate Judge Lisa Wexler; Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe; state Rep.Gail Lavielle (143rd District); candidate for lieutenant governor Heather Somers; Foley, and candidate for state Rep. Brandi Briggs (136th District).  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 07:35 PM
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Getting Together at League of Women Voters Brunch Image
The annual League of Women Voters of Westport brunch today attracted numerous candidates, politicians, and members. Pictured are (first row, l-r)  Celestine LeCroix, president of the Westport LWV,and state Rep. Kim Fawcett (D-133), candidate for a state Senate seat ; (second row) state Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143), state Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26); and state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (D-136), all seeking re-election; (top row) Brandi Brigg, state representative candidate; Selectwoman Helen Garten; First Selectman Jim Marpe, and Phil Sharlach, candidate for state Senate. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 02:38 PM
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Gearing Up for November Election

Scenes from today’s League of Women Voters of Westport annual fall brunch. At the brunch, the LWV officially launched its awareness initiative, “Pass the Amendment/Start the Conversation,”  focusing on the election’s ballot question to amend Connecticut’s constitution to allow legislators to begin to consider broader access to voting methods. Phyllis Groner for

Posted 02:33 PM
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Foley’s Urban Agenda: Something Borrowed, Something New

By Mark Pazniokas

New Britain – In the first extensive public policy press conference of his second run for governor, Republican Tom Foley today released an urban agenda that echoes or revises long-tried policies on housing, crime and jobs, while imposing a strict “marketplace” standard on failing urban schools. Image
Tom Foley (r) walks from New Britain city hall to his news conference with Mayor Erin Stewart, trailed by other mayors, including his 2010 running mate, Mark Boughton of Danbury. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Foley, 62, a Greenwich businessman who was stunned by the decisive urban turnout in support of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in their first race four years ago, pledged a year ago that he would compete in the cities by addressing urban issues after a period of conversation and fact-finding.

After campaigning largely on the economy and fiscal issues, which pollsters have found are by far the top priorities of Connecticut voters in 2014, Foley stood with five mayors in a pocket park outside city hall and pledged, “As governor, I’ll have no higher priority than making our cities great again.”

Foley read aloud what he called “a sampling of the plan,” but his campaign brought no copies, leaving reporters to attempt to download documents emailed to their smart phones as the candidate began reading prepared remarks. He encouraged reporters and voters to read the plan online.

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Posted 06:51 PM
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Debicella: Expand I-95 and Merritt Entrance & Exit Lanes

UPDATE Dan Debicella, the Republican businessman seeking for the second time to oust incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, today released his transportation plan, which he said calls for expanding entrance and exit lanes on I-95 and the Merritt Parkway. Image
Joning Dan Debicella (c) at the Westport Metro-North station were state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney and state Sen. Toni Boucher. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

“My plan for transportation focuses on common-sense solutions for both roads and rails – with realistic funding levels that we can obtain,” said Debicella at a news conference at the Metro-North station in Westport. He was joined by state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney and state Sen. Toni Boucher.

Debicella’s plan also calls for enhanced maintenance and repair schedules for Metro-North tracks and electrical work. 

Debicella, who was unsuccessful in his 2010 run against Himes, losing by about six percentage points, said the opening of Merritt exit 53 in the Sikorsky Bridge area was a major factor in relieving traffic congestion at that pervious bottleneck. 

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Posted 12:45 PM
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Greeting from the Senator Image
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal stopped by the Westport Rotary Club Lobster Fest at Compo Beach today and among those he greeted was Westport Police Officer James Loomer of the K9 unit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for

Posted 06:55 PM
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Rowland Guilty on All Counts

By Mark Pazniokas

New Haven—A jury in U.S. District Court today convicted Gov. John G. Rowland on all counts arising from what the government described as a scheme to solicit two congressional campaigns in 2010 and 2012 to secretly pay him as a political consultant in violation of U.S. campaign finance laws. Image
John G. Rowland departs with his wife, Patty, and a daughter after guilty verdict. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Rowland accepted the verdict stoically. His wife, Patty, quietly wept. Once the jury was dismissed, Rowland turned and embraced one of his daughters, whose soft sobs were the only sound in the hushed court.

Sentencing was scheduled for Dec. 12, but the prosecutor said the government was willing to delay until the New Year. Rowland’s lawyer, Reid H. Weingarten, promised an appeal.

Rowland wordlessly exited the courthouse with his wife, trailed by his daughters. The small entourage descended the stone steps facing the New Haven Green, walked to a waiting sedan and sped away.

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Posted 03:23 PM
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Murphy, Blumenthal Split on Authorization to Arm Syrian Rebels

By Ann Radalet

Washington – Connecticut’s Democratic senators split today over legislation that would give the Obama administration authority to arm and train Syrian rebels, but the measure won approval in the Senate on a bipartisan, 78-22 vote.

Sen. Chris Murphy, who has one of the first in the Senate to voice opposition to President Obama’s plan to enlist “moderate” rebels in Syria in the U.S.  battle against Islamic militants known as ISIS or ISIL, voted against giving the White House authority to do so. ISIS has seized a third of both Iraq and Syria, declared war on the West and is thought to be responsible for beheading two American journalists.

“I simply don’t believe an effective strategy to combat ISIL requires America to get more deeply involved in the Syrian civil war,” Murphy said. “ First, the moderate Syrian rebels have shown a disturbing willingness to join forces with Islamic extremists like the Al Nusra Front, a wing of Al Qaeda, and it will be nearly impossible to stop the rebels we train from joining forces with groups that pose a real threat to the United States.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who has expressed skepticism about the plan, was in the majority of senators who voted for the Syria provision. It was part of a short term spending bill that would keep the government running from Oct. 1 to Dec. 11.

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Posted 08:02 PM
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Jury Deliberating Guilt or Innocence of Rowland

By Mark Pazniokas

New HavenUPDATE The case against former Gov. John G. Rowland went to the jury at 3:37 p.m. today after a day of argument about whether Rowland, the political wunderkind who became a felon, conspired to illegally hide work for a congressional candidate by accepting a consulting contract from her husband’s company.

[The jury ended deliberations for the day at 5 p.m. and will return Friday at 9 a.m.]

In his 90-minute summation, defense lawyer Reid Weingarten struck a conversational tone with the jury, asking them to see Rowland’s eagerness to consult on congressional campaigns in 2010 and 2012 as a bid to get back in the game of politics after a corruption scandal forced his resignation as governor 2004.

“You love him or hate him. Thats just the deal,” Weingarten said, but he ridiculed the government’s contention that Rowland had any thoughts of keeping his role in any campaign a secret. “He can’t make a move in Connecticut without everybody knowing it. That’s just the truth.”

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Posted 05:10 PM
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Himes Votes Against Arming Syrian Rebels

U..S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4th District) today voted against training and arming of Syrian rebels to confront the militant group Islamic State.

He was joined by three other Connecticut congressmen. Only Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District voted in favor. Congress approved the measure 273-156.

“I continue to support an aggressive counterterrorist strategy that includes airstrikes and other counterterrorism measures that have proved successful against ISIS, al Qaeda and other terrorists in places like Afghanistan, Yemen and North Africa,” Himes said in a statement later.

“It is clear that ISIS, if left unchecked, could threaten key American allies and ultimately pose a direct threat to the United States. I am not, however, comfortable with the creation of a U.S. proxy army over which we would have limited control, and whose mission is split and unclear.

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Posted 05:50 PM
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Monday, September 15, 2014

GOP Fundraiser for Congressional Candidate Image
A fundraiser was held over the weekend for 4th Congressional District Republican hopeful Dan Debicella at the Westport home of Liz and Avi Kaner, second selectman. Keynote speaker was U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, who has visited Westport in each of the past three years, speaking and promoting the U.S.-Israel relationship. Pictured (l-r) are Avi Kaner; candidate for State Rep. Brandi Briggs (136th District); State Rep. Gail Lavielle (143rd District); Dan Debicella, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx; state Sen. Toni Boucher (26th District), Westport-Weston Probate Judge Lisa Wexler; candidate for State Senate Tony Hwang (28th District); and Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 09:33 AM
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Himes, Debicella to Debate Three Times Next Month

Washington – The campaign of Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District announced today that three debates have been scheduled in October between the lawmaker and his opponent, Republican businessman Dan Debicella. Image
Republican Dan Debicella (l) will debate Democrat Jim Himes three times. Contributed photos

According to the campaign, the first public debate will occur on Oct. 19 in Wilton, It will be sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The World Affairs Forum will sponsor a debate the next day, Oct. 20, in Stamford.

The final debate will be held in Norwalk on Oct. 28. The Norwalk Chamber of Commerce and Cable vision will sponsor that event.

“I look forward to engaging in a vibrant exchange of ideas on issues residents of the Fourth District care about,” Himes said in a statement.


Posted 08:55 PM
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quinnipiac: Foley Over Malloy by 6 Points

By Mark Pazniokas

Quinnipiac University’s first survey of the Connecticut governor’s race in four months found Republican Tom Foley leading first-term Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy by 6 percentage points among likely voters with eight weeks remaining in their campaign.

In a poll released today, Foley led Malloy, 46 percent to 40 percent, with petitioning candidate Joe Visconti favored by 7 percent. Visconti, a Republican opponent of gun control, did not change the basic dynamic of the race: Without him in the mix, Foley still led by 6 points, 49 percent to 43 percent.

“In our first likely voter poll, Tom Foley has the edge but Gov. Dannel Malloy is certainly within striking distance,” said Douglas Schwartz, director of the poll.  “Foley has a double-digit lead among the key swing group, independent voters.  With eight weeks until Election Day, there are 6 percent undecided and another 30 percent who say they could change their mind.”

Foley led 82 percent to 9 among Republicans, while Malloy led 77 percent to 10 percent among Democrats. Unaffiliated voters favored Foley, 48 to 35 percent.

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Posted 08:53 AM
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